Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Virus Targets Industrial Secrets

Robert McMillan writes on PC World:

Siemens is warning customers of a new and highly sophisticated virus that targets the computers used to manage large-scale industrial control systems used by manufacturing and utility companies.

Siemens learned about the issue on July 14, Siemens Industry spokesman Michael Krampe said in an e-mail message Friday. "The company immediately assembled a team of experts to evaluate the situation. Siemens is taking all precautions to alert its customers to the potential risks of this virus," he said.

Security experts believe the virus appears to be the kind of threat they have worried about for years -- malicious software designed to infiltrate the systems used to run factories and parts of the critical infrastructure.

Some have worried that this type of virus could be used to take control of those systems, to disrupt operations or trigger a major accident, but experts say an early analysis of the code suggests it was probably designed to steal secrets from manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities.

More here.


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